By now we’ve all learned of the latest suspensions dished out by Major League Baseball on players associated with Biogenesis. We look at all the big-name players that have been suspended and curse them, call them cheaters, liars, fakes, and idiots. But I have some bad news for you: all these PED-guilty players are laughing at me and you right now. That’s right – they’re laughing. And why? Because they’re living lives we can only hope to as a result of their transgressions and will continue to do that well after we’re all done booing them on the field and elsewhere.
The problem with PEDs right now in baseball is that – morals aside – it’s absolutely worthwhile to cheat. You bulk up, put up some amazing numbers, get signed to a monster contract, make a ton of money, then get found out, pay a small fraction of that money as a fine, sit out a few games, then continue to rake it all in after your suspension is over. Of course it’s worth it! Hey, even if you develop health problems, you’ve still set up your family for life, right?
It’s amazing the abuse Alex Rodriguez is taking on Twitter and in the media right now, and rightfully so. But let’s face it, he’s laughing at each and every one of us. He’s going out to great dinners, traveling whenever he wants, doesn’t care about ObamaCare or where the money is coming to pay for his kids college or aging adult members of his family. He doesn’t care. He has no worries. But we boo him – and that’s us ‘getting back at him’. Yeah, right!
If you really break it down into all its smallest levels, you’d cheat too probably and start making obscene money you’ve never dreamed about if given the chance, even with MLB “coming down hard” on these players. Listen, even if you knew a lifetime ban was in the works – but you get to keep the money – would that be enough of a deterrent? No, you’d be looking for syringes faster than Courtney Love at a rave. The way things are now, there really is no doubt that it totally makes sense to cheat, even if it takes a toll on your body and health, the “real” “small price” to pay.
The good news is, there’s a really easy way to fix it all. And it’s a simple way too. It’s called “Zero Tolerance” and if implemented correctly (stringently), it stops the problem of PEDs in baseball tomorrow. Get caught doing steroids and you’re banned for life. First offense? Banned! And… (drum roll please), your current contract is revoked… AND (stronger drum roll please), you forfeit all remaining money on your contract and you must REPAY all the money you fraudulently earned up till that time as well. With interest!
Would that put many players in bankruptcy? Too bad… no one is forcing them to shoot themselves up.
Too severe? Not fair? Too draconian? YES it is! But the cure to ANY problem is to make the punishment so harsh that it’s absolutely not even an option to commit the infraction in the first place! When Ryan Braun knows he has to sit out 100 games but gets to play again and cash in on a ridiculous amount of money, do you think he’s deterred from committing the crime? No – the scales favor the infraction, even with these suspensions. It’s all basically a wrist slap and Ryan Braun knows it and is joining ARod at the neighborhood country club sipping champagne and laughing at the servers.
Strict zero tolerance is the only way to stop the problem. Don’t let the players return to the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. They need to feel the pain of being caught up in illegalities in a manner than hits them in the only way it’ll hurt, and that’s through their bank accounts.
Do you really think ARod cares if he loses $34 million through his suspension when he knows there’s $86 million left for him when he returns? What can YOU do with $86 million? Yeah, it makes us feel great to call him an idiot or worse, and boo him mercilessly during every at-bat, but make no mistake, the way things are now, Arod is definitely getting the last laugh as you struggle to pay the mortgage.
And I don’t want to hear about reputation or legacy. None of these players really care about their reputations as long as they make the money. None of them! Please, don’t be naive about this point. They don’t care about their teammates. They don’t care about the teams they play for. And they certainly don’t care about the fans. In fact, many of them say the right things, but I don’t even think they really care if they get elected into the Hall of Fame or not. Does Barry Bonds really care if us fans consider him the homerun champ or not? His bank account is the size of your house – of course he doesn’t care. He’s too busy laughing at you for commenting on a FoxSports story about the size of his head. Roger Clemens? Really? Do you realize how great Roger Clemens lives compared to you or your neighbors? Of course it makes sense for them to all do steroids!
Fifty game suspension? 100 game suspension? Even a lifetime ban suspension? For $50 million dollars in the bank after it’s all over, where do I sign up? The penalties for being caught just aren’t harsh enough. If baseball treated PEDs like they do with other serious transgressions of the game – say, gambling – fewer players would even consider it if they knew a zero-tolerance policy was in place. A policy which made it unspeakable to even think about cheating using steroids, and one that would hit them right in their pocketbooks, where it hurts most – and which strangely enough is the only place that would make these cheating bastards stop laughing at us who buy tickets, go to ballgames at atrocious prices, follow their stats daily on the internet, and cheer their very being whenever we see them in public. This would stop the PED steroid problem in an instant.
Who’s really the stupid idiot?